UW Study Seeks Survey Responses Measuring Impact of Returning to High School Sports

The Stratford baseball team celebrates after beating Boyceville 7-5 in a Division 3 semifinal at the WIAA State Baseball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton. The Tigers will play in the D-3 state championship game Thursday. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is endorsing a University of Wisconsin research study titled “The Impact of Restarting High School Sports on The Health of Adolescent Athletes.”

The objective of the study is to document the effects that participation in organized sports has on the physical activity, quality of life and mental health of adolescent athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have found that the cancelation of school and sports in spring 2020 was associated with significant decreases in physical activity, quality of life and mental health.

The UW Health research team is seeking student-athletes to survey one year later to evaluate the impacts of restarting sport participation. Importantly, they are also interested in including athletes who have and have not been able to restart participation in order to directly evaluate the impacts of sports for adolescents.

High school athletes and adolescent club sport athletes between 13 and 18 years old are asked to access and complete a short, anonymous, online survey.

Participating athletes are asked to receive permission from their parents, after which the survey asks a series of questions regarding current and former sport participation, level of physical activity, anxiety, depression and health related quality of life.

This research project has been approved by the University of Wisconsin Institutional Review Board and is funded by a grant from the National Federation of High School Associations.

The direct link to the survey is also available here:  https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a5EPmtGzgpoGokJ.

The study was announced recently by UW Health via Twitter, including the survey link here: https://twitter.com/uwhealthsports.

Like, retweet and pass on the twitter link, or share these survey links to any interested individuals associated with adolescent sports, including health care providers, coaches, staff, parents and athletes.

The researchers’ goal is to acquire as many responses as possible from adolescents across the US within the next 30 days in order to provide timely information to help inform ongoing discussions regarding the re-initiation and continuation of youth sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]